The best of Bajan culture was on show for this afternoon’s Crop Over Opening Gala and Ceremonial Delivery of the Last Canes.
The event at the King George V Memorial Park commenced with much fanfare, including singing, dancing and acting.
Entertainer Antoine Williams took to the stage to deliver Speechifying, commemorating the longevity and excitement surrounding the island’s Summer festival.
The Sons of God Apostolic Spiritual Baptist Church reprised their annual responsibility of blessing the last canes.
The annual King and Queen of the Crop awards were replaced with the Crop Over 2017 Awards, recognizing persons in all spheres on the sugar industry.
The only female electrician in the local sugar industry, Francine Belgrave, and pan boiler Cedric Eastmond from Portvale Sugar Factory took home the inaugural awards.
The National Cultural Foundation (NCF) also honoured Antonio Boo Rudder for his contribution to music; Coral Bernadine-Pollard for her contribution to the development of art; the late Reggie Cave for his contribution to masquerading and Dr Elizabeth Mary-Rose Ferdinand for her contribution to support services.
Delivering the welcoming address, NCF Chairman Maureen Graham said the showcase followed the theme Iz We Story.
“Iz We Story to tell, formulated around a blend of heritage and the arts, pan – a youthful refresher for the Pic o de Crop competition, with the slogan of ‘I love kuh-lip-so’, and a soon-to- be announced prize addition to the masquerade,” she said.
Graham encouraged Barbadians and those involved in the festival to engross themselves in the season and to use it as an opportunity to gain a profit saying, “let us work together to write our story as we continue to build on this unique Barbados Crop Over Festival brand. In it, there is something for everyone and so I hope that you take this opportunity to enjoy some aspects of the season”.